A sham? A scream? Whichever, in the run-up to all things film – that would be you, Oscar – it's nice to give television pros their due. Our picks for who will collect the big TV awards on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CTV), and who should really win.
What will win: Boardwalk Empire. Golden Globe voters adore a history lesson and this HBO drama transports viewers to the gloriously grimy heyday of Atlantic City during Prohibition. The imprimatur of Martin Scorsese as director and executive producer can't hurt either.
What should win: Homeland. Showtime took risks and upped its street cred with this tense drama about a CIA analyst given ample reason to question her government's intentions in Iraq, and the world stage. Welcome to 24 in the Obama era.
BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
Who will win: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad. Cranston's trophy case already holds three Emmys for his portrayal of the meth-dealing schoolteacher Walt White, but so far the Golden Globe has eluded his grasp. They have to give him one eventually.
Who should win: Damian Lewis, Homeland. As a U.S. marine rescued from al-Qaeda's clutches and then suspected of working for the enemy, Lewis personifies the modern American military mindset, which is pretty impressive for a guy from England.
BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
Who will win: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife. Margulies still holds residual heat from last fall's Emmy win and her show has successfully survived a move to Sunday night. And really, is there a stronger female role model on network television today?
Who should win: Mireille Enos, The Killing. A former support player on Big Love, Enos exuded quiet patience and intellect as the homicide detective slowly unravelling the murder of a teenaged girl. Sometimes less really is more.
What will win: Modern Family. Still the critics' darling in its third season, still a ratings hit, still the funniest cast on television. No current show spawns more Thursday-morning water-cooler discussion, plus the people producing the Globes broadcast need an excuse to get Sofia Vergara up on the stage.
What should win: New Girl. This season's sassiest new sitcom has Zooey Deschanel as a bubbly and believable gal who moves in with three dudes and keeps it platonic. Sort of the grandchild of Three's Company.
BEST ACTOR, COMEDY
Who will win: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock. Baldwin keeps expanding his portrayal of oleaginous broadcast executive Jack Donaghy with subtle tweaks and he's won the Golden Globe on three previous occasions. The fourth time will be the charm.
Who should win: Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory. As the most grounded nerd on television's most-watched sitcom, Galecki is a master of comedic understatement. He deserves a win just for keeping a straight face opposite Jim Parsons.
BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY
Who will win: Tina Fey, 30 Rock. Ms. Bossypants can afford to tip the limo driver with her Golden Globe – she already has three, plus seven Emmys – but she's always the odds-on favourite in this category, if only because the Globes people know she'll deliver the funniest acceptance speech.
Who should win: Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation. Poehler brings pathos and pluck to her portrayal of deluded bureaucrat Leslie Knope in TV's most underrated comedy, and she's been plugging away in the business for a decade with virtually no recognition. The lady is due.